Last minute rushing is not what’s up. I know this because whenever I deviate from my normal planning routines and try to “wing” something, I feel immediately overwhelmed.
It’s because I’ve been a super planner all my life. Seriously, I have. Before I go into any situation, whether at work or in my personal life, I try my best to prepare for it. I’m smart enough to know that there is no way humanly possible to prepare for everything that is thrown your way, so I’m not talking about that kind of preparation. I’m talking about planning for things that you desire to do or will have to do at some point such as a project, a presentation or speech, a job interview and so on.
Planning ahead is beneficial to you in more ways than you may realize. It reduces stress and anxiety which is a major benefit! Stress is very harmful to your body and can cause health problems that you don’t need. Planning ahead also gives you a boost of confidence to complete whatever it is that you’re preparing for. For example, putting in the prep work for a presentation can remove most of the nervous jitters that are associated with public speaking.
Here are a few ways that you can practice planning ahead.
Write things down. Taking the time to make lists of what you need to do gives you a picture of how much time you will need for each task. Working from a to-do list increases your productivity because you’ll eliminate the distractions of trying to figure out the next step or how to work something. You’ll be focused in on whatever you wrote and crossing it off your list upon completion will be added motivation!
Break larger tasks down. If you have a huge project to complete, break it down into smaller projects. In my experience, trying to tackle a huge project all at once is overwhelming and you can miss important details. What I like to do is break it into phases, based on importance.
Set deadlines…and stick to them. Deadlines are essential! Having project/task deadlines helps you to actually complete those tasks that you’ve written down and broken down, but you must stick to them. You can ask any of my past or current interns. We don’t play about deadlines around here and missing deadlines can affect a business in many ways including loss of credibility, loss of finances or decreased brand loyalty.